Review: Ubuntu Karmic Koala

Right. I’ve taken far far too long to post this, so here we go. I’m sitting down to write it and not getting up until I’m finished.

I have 3 computers that I use daily. My desktop, my netbook and my server (o, btw, I’ll be posting about my server sometime soon). And so, I decided to try and get all these running Karmic. Some experiences were great, some were not so.


My desktop has been running Karmic since alpha 1. And I have to say I love it. Obviously, during the development process, I got a lot of problems with it, but thats mainly cause it was in dev. Apart from the usual bugs being x breaking, sound dying, drivers of all sorts not working, it was pretty smooth. I do have a few gripes about it though.

  1. trayer no longer is in the ubuntu repos. They don’t seem to like it. Now, I’m not one for saying that they should put this or that into the default install, but they should keep things in the repos. I do not like stalonetray, and it is the only alternative to trayer. So, I had to get an old version of trayer, which will no doubt come back to bite me later on. But for now, I’m sticking to trayer.
  2. Audio has never really been a huge problem for me, but a few things have happened with it. The volume control doesn’t work very well. Its either on or muted. Thats not a huge problem, as I use external speakers with a volume control, but its still something that really shouldn’t happen.

Apart from these 2 things, everything seems to work smoothly on my desktop. In this case, complete success on Ubuntu. w00t. Kiss that Microsoft.


[**![Ubuntu Netbook Interface for Ubuntu Karmic Koala]( "UNR Karmic")**]( Netbook Interface for Ubuntu Karmic Koala

Now, my netbook…I upgraded it’s ubuntu install about a week ago to Karmic. And can I say…absolutely beautiful. I love the new UNR interface. It is lovely. This is really the only big change that I can see on my netbook. O wait, no, I can actually run compiz on it. All those things the Ubuntu people were talking about…more support for intel cards…it is so true. The boot process is just so beautiful as well. It isn’t quite as quick as I’d like it to be. My netbook still takes about 30 secs to boot up, so its still quicker to leave it on standby, but still, improvements are improvements.

I only have 1 thing for the Ubuntu developers on my netbook:

Where on earth is the shutdown button??? I will agree that you can put a button into the panel at the top, but for goodness sake, what about a new user who doesn’t know about that? Where can they shut down the computer? The new interface completely misses a power button.

For those who haven’t seen the new UNR interface, you can see it in the screenshot.


I first of all tried Karmic on my server when I bought it. I thought everything would go peachy as I had 2 perfect upgrades, so why would a clean install not work? Well…complete disaster. Seriously. I don’t know what it was…whether it was grub2, or whether it was something else. But everytime I tried to boot up after installing it, it’d go straight into a prompt saying it couldn’t find my root partition. And it hadn’t loaded my usb driver by that point, and my server doesn’t have a ps/2 connector. So, I had to go back to 8.04.

Now, I know, the server team always says that if you have a server, only use the newest LTS, which is fair enough, but I want updates dude.

Ach well, I guess I can’t have everything. I’ll just update to 10.04 when it comes out.


Ok, so, this was a great release, in my opinion. I think they did a great thing, but they might have kept grub2 out of it. Apart from that, the pulseaudio bug. lack of trayer and no power button on the UNR interface, it was a fantastic release.

Now to upgrade my desktop to Lucid :)